Television choices: Novice writer spikes her pen into the core of the Big Apple
Novice writer spikes her pen into the core of the Big Apple
TV pick of the week: Girls
Monday 10pm Sky Atlantic
"I think I may be the voice of my generation," Lena Dunham's character, Hannah, a would-be writer, tells her sceptical parents in the opening episode of Dunham's semi-autobiographical sitcom, Girls. After Girls (produced by Judd Apatow for HBO) went on to become the most talked about new show in America, publishers took Dunham at her word, and engaged in a bidding war for her first book. Back in the sitcom, Hannah is having less luck than her creator, her parents cutting the purse-strings, and her boss sacking her rather than transforming her internship into a real job. It's a funny riposte to the glamorous Manhattan of Sex and the City, as Hannah and her very normal-looking female friends struggle to emerge into adulthood.
The Thick of It
Saturday 9.45pm BBC2
In a special hour-long episode, Lord Goodeson convenes his official inquiry into "the practice and dissemination of government information" – The Thick of It's answer to Leveson, albeit rather more tough and pithy than the real thing. Among the highlights are Stewart Pearson being forced to speak plain English and the sight of Malcolm Tucker squirming.
You've Been Trumped
Sunday 10pm BBC2
"A 21st-Century Highland clearance," says a protester of the sweeping aside of local opposition to Donald Trump's luxury golf resort on the pristine Aberdeenshire coastline. Anthony Baxter's documentary calls itself a "David and Goliath tale" and opens with a scene from the 1983 film Local Hero. Unlike that fantasy, this tale didn't end in victory for the little men.
Tuesday 10.35pm BBC1
"They should shoot you when you're 60," says an old bloke featured in this insight into the lives of OAPs from the documentary-maker Brian Woods. The focus is on three – Doris, Francis and Kitty – living on the basic state pension and a diet of loneliness, cold (20,000 old people die of cold every winter) and crime, but retaining great resilience and humour.
Brazil with Michael Palin
Wednesday 9pm BBC1
The world's nicest man visits the world's fifth largest country – emerging power and host of the next World Cup and Olympics, Brazil (a curious omission from Palin's travel CV). The former Python's previous series had an in-built narrative (round the world north-to-south, etc), but this one potters somewhat as he begins in the former slave ports of the country's north-east.
Hatfields & McCoys
Thursday 9pm Channel 5
The History Channel's last original drama series, The Kennedys, was derided, but their new one – recalling a folkloric 30-year feud between two Appalachian clans – comes showered in Emmy awards. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton are the rival leads. What it lacks is humour, and some may find themselves stretching for that Deadwood box-set instead.
A Wolf Called Storm: Natural World Special
Friday 9pm BBC2
The cameraman Jeff Turner spent a year in northern Canada filming the lives of a wolf pack that featured in the David Attenborough series Frozen Planet – and the delightful results (when were you last let down by a BBC wildlife film?) observes the pack leader trying to pass its hunting skills on to a new generation of cubs.
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Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
- 2 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 3 Andy Murray takes to Twitter to show off his Christmas jumper
- 4 Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 5 Top 10 travel destinations for 2015: From Haiti and Alaska to Namibia and Iceland
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Madonna Rebel Heart: Pharrell Williams collaboration and 13 more songs leaked
Vagina canoe artist defends herself over ‘obscenity’ charges
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'